Made For You: Is Customization the Future of Beauty?
Can beauty be personal? This start-up nods in affirmation as it looks to revolutionize the personal care and beauty industry through customized products to suit every individual's unique needs and requirements.
Customized hair care is no more a distant future, according to this Gurugram-based start-up. The former founding team of men’s grooming brand The Man Company took an exit in 2018 to work on its new start-up where beauty met technology to offer personalized solutions.
Internationally, this phenomenon took shape with companies like Function of Beauty and Prose in 2015 and 2017, respectively. In India, Rohit Chawla conceptualized Bare Anatomy in 2018 with co-founders Sifat Khurana and Vimal Bhola.
LTOR: Vimal Bhola, Sifat Khurana and Rohit Chawla, Co-founders, Bare Anatomy
The data-driven start-up offers natural, vegan and cruelty-free products which are freshly prepared on consumers’ demand after analyzing their hair texture, scalp type, lifestyle, diet etc. Chawla says, “Each customer takes a quiz on our website, which actually forms the analytics based on which the ingredients and formulations are finalized. The system generates the basic formulation based on the analytics after which the R&D team reviews it and adds on to it. The final details then reach the manufacturing department, where each order is made exclusively.” Bare Anatomy has a wide range of products such as shampoo, conditioner, hair oil, hair mask and hair serum. Seeing a great dream is one thing but achieving it is another, that’s where this start-up had its share of challenges. Chawla mentions tying to outsource manufacturing first but after burning their hands, they quickly set it up in-house. Chawla says, “There is a lot of compliance and stability test. Manufacturing is a different piece altogether. We had to get custom machines to make it individually.”
Another major task is getting the right investor on board. Chawla mentions, “Even when we were not raising funds, we spoke to 20 VCs.” Last October, the brand raised its seed funding of $500,000 from Sauce, a consumer-centric venture capital fund.
Manu Chandra, Managing Partner, Sauce.vc, says, “Today’s consumer wants to engage with a brand that appreciates her individuality and offers credible products to meet her needs. One size no longer fits all.”
“We chose Sauce.vc as Manu understands strategy in this space well. His LPs are all from the FMCG industry, so we geta lot of direct and indirect guidance,” Chawla adds.
Currently unit economics positive profitability is not the goal, and neither is rapid expansion for this start-up. After shipping around 20,000 products, the aim is to now grow the team, customers and expansion across marketing and technology. Sharing marketing strategies and their plans to increase the sales funnel, which is right now only through their website and social media, Khurana says, “We will have our own concept stores to bring in the experience.” Going forward, the brand might venture into personal skin care.
(This article was first published in the January issue of Entrepreneur Magazine. To subscribe, click here)